22 officers injured in violent ‘Patriots Day’ rally

Julian Kilchling/File

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Twenty-two police officers were injured during the violent “Patriots Day” rally that took place in Berkeley on April 15, according to Berkeley Police Department spokesperson Sgt. Andrew Frankel.

One officer sustained a knee injury while the remaining 21 suffered either hearing loss due to their proximity to explosive devices or were exposed to a caustic chemical. No officers were hospitalized, Frankel said, but there are a number of officers still dealing with tinnitus and seeking treatment for their injuries.

Frankel said the bulk of BPD officers were present at the rally. One hundred and eighty officers from Oakland Police Department also provided mutual aid. BPD may only call for mutual aid if more than 50 percent of its officers are working, Frankel said.

But many have criticized officers for not preventing or immediately addressing much of the violence taking place on Saturday.

In preparation for the event, the city of Berkeley banned sticks, pipes, poles, pepper spray, eggs and any other instrument that could be used as an “implement of riot” from Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park, where the rally began. But Joe Rothenbuhler, a San Francisco resident attending the rally, said the checkpoint in the park was “kind of a joke” and people were able to smuggle in prohibited materials.

He added that throughout the event, police repeatedly failed to intervene when altercations took place and when M-80s were thrown.

“The cops’ job is to keep order and they didn’t do that,” Rothenbuhler said. “They didn’t do their jobs.”

Police made 20 arrests at the event and are continuing to review video evidence to identify individuals involved in criminal activities. BPD is also soliciting photos and videos from the public.

“Our tactics are very deliberate we’re not going to go wading into a crowd and potentially put law-abiding citizens at risk.” Frankel said.

Jessica Lynn is the city news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @jessicailynn.

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  • Simi S.

    Here are Berkeley PD getting hit by M80 last Saturday

  • ManOfTheEmpire

    im sorry, i’m usually supportive of police but in this instance – i am not.

    22 officers injured compared to the preventable hundreds who’ll be limping or be in hospital as a result of injuries sustained over the next few days, especially the head injuries are of great concern to me, that is how people can get killed at these events.

    it was preventable
    the violence was expected as had happened at previous events and rallies.
    there was no crackdown or attempt to divide the two groups outside of a flimsy tape barrier no more than 4 ft wide.

    overall anyone who was responsible for either a “stand down” order or failing to provide enough resources and allocation of manpower to the police to prevent these easily preventable crimes should either resign or be fired.

    if the same scene occurs again on the 27th when Ann Coulter visits, those responsible, the Mayor and Chief of Police should be charged for gross negligence and willing endangerment of human life.

    the police know whats going to happen, there needs to be RIOT officers, crowd dispersal weapons, water cannons and some actual plan in the event of violence because people will die as these fights escalate.

  • jim hoch

    There is a typo in the article “Our tactics are very deliberate we’re not going to go wading into a crowd and potentially put law-abiding citizens at risk.”

    Should be

    “Our tactics are very deliberate we’re not going to go wading into a crowd and put ourselves at risk.”

  • shame on the berkeley police and their politicized leadership. I feel no sympathy for supposed peace officers who refuse to keep the peace!

  • Left Unsaid

    BPD took sticks away from the conservatives but allowed the protesters to attack them. Only when they fought back against the anarchists, BPD intervened.


  • Leonidas

    Berkeley Police Department chose not to protect people. They sat on the sidelines and watching and did nothing. So much for protect and serve.